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As more flights return and travel nears pre-pandemic levels, Canada is seizing the moment to redefine its tourism sector. On May 16, 2024, Destination Canada unveiled its ambitious new strategy, “A World of Opportunity,” at the premier international tourism marketplace, Rendez-vous Canada, held in Edmonton. This comprehensive strategy aims to propel Canada into the top seven global tourism destinations by 2030, targeting an annual revenue generation of CAD$160 billion​. The new strategy aims to deliver CAD$450 million per day from tourism, compared to the current CAD$300 million per day.

“In a world of isolation, tourism is about connection,” said The Honorable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Federal Minister of Tourism in speaking about the new tourism strategy. “We’re investing in tourism growth by supporting small and medium businesses across the country.”

Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination Canada, stated that Canada has been slipping in global competitiveness since 2009. Despite forecasts showing Canadian tourism outperforming the Canadian economy, it is falling behind the global tourism economy. Tourism is vital to the Canadian economy, supporting more than 234,000 businesses and employing 1 in 10 people. In 2021, Canada was the 13th global tourism destination. To push it into the top seven, Canada needs to be seen as a year-round destination and a ‘must-see’ rather than a ‘someday’ destination​​.

Marsha Walden speaking at RVC 2024

The strategy will use five guiding principles: Collaboration, Prosperity, Public Support, Regeneration, and Reconciliation, underscoring four key pillars designed to foster transformative growth in the tourism sector:

  1. Sector Advancement | A Competitive Canada: Enhancing competitiveness by leveraging seven strategic levers identified through industry consultations.
  2. Brand Leadership | Driving the Brand: Developing a sustainable and balanced tourism landscape by targeting specific demographics and dispersing tourists geographically to enhance seasonality and local opportunities.
  3. Destination Development | Propelling Investment and Supply: Collaborating with communities to create long-term development plans, improve infrastructure, and meet both guest expectations and local needs.
  4. Collective Intelligence | Leading with Data: Expanding access to data and insights to empower businesses to compete globally​ (Destination Canada)​​ (Newswire)​​ (Destination Canada)​.

Meanwhile, what does this mean for Australia?

  • Australia is one of Canada’s key international markets (along with the USA, Mexico, Germany, France, UK, China, Korea, and Japan).
  • Many Australians travel in the Northern Hemisphere winter – Canada’s low season – making Australians a more attractive market during this period.
  • Many Canadian operators are looking for ways to raise awareness with and attract Australians to their locations and away from the more visited destinations in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

This strategy reflects Canada’s commitment to reinvigorating its tourism sector by 2030, emphasizing collaboration, sustainable growth, and data-driven decision-making to position itself as a top global destination.

View the entire strategy here.